OU expels two students for racist chants video

Hannah Ditzenberger

David Boren, president of University of Oklahoma, expelled two students associated with a racist chant video, Tuesday.

Disclaimer: Video contains potentially offensive language.

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The video shows members of fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon yelling racist slurs and making light of lynching. They also implied that black members would not be admitted to the chapter.

According to Boren’s Twitter, in which he attached his statement, the university is continuing its investigation against other students in the video. Once they are identified, they will be, “subject to appropriate disciplinary action.”

Boren said he is proud of the university’s response to the incident.

“I have emphasized that there is zero tolerance for this kind of threatening racist behavior at the University of Oklahoma,” Boren said. “I hope that the entire nation will join us in having zero tolerance of such racism.”

At a rally on campus, the president said that the university will sever all ties with the fraternity.

Brad Cohen, president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said in a press release that chapter members have been suspended and those involved with the video will be expelled permanently.

“I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video,” Cohen said. “SAE is a diverse organization, and we have zero tolerance for racism or any bad behavior. When we learned about this incident, I called an immediate board meeting, and we determined with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately.”

President Tony Frank sent an e-mail to the CSU community, Tuesday, denouncing racist behavior and encouraging community members to stand up against such conduct.

“The video that has surfaced of the incident signals an embedded culture of exclusion, bigotry and hate, and such a culture has no place in a community of higher learning, much less our society as a whole,” Frank wrote in the e-mail. “But these types of incidents — despite decades of struggle — continue to happen too often, and no place is immune. Still, we can commit to make a difference as individuals and as a community, and I ask that you join me in rising to that challenge.”

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Stephen Jones, the president of CSU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said in a letter to the Collegian, that the chapter agrees with Frank’s condemnation of the video.

“In no way does that racist event represent who we are as a local chapter or as a national organization, nor does it represent the Greek community in general,” Jones said. “We pride ourselves both nationally and especially here at CSU in being a very diverse fraternity and chapter, which does not discriminate in any way for candidacy in membership.”

Collegian Diversity Beat Reporter Hannah Ditzenberger can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @h_ditzenberger.